Best EVER Spinach Orzo Salad

This Spinach Orzo Salad is filled with cranberries, creamy goat cheese, tender pasta, and plenty of fresh spinach tossed in a tangy sweet dressing. The salad can be served immediately or kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days – making this an awesome make-ahead meal for lunch or dinner.

Spinach Orzo Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese in mixing bowl

Spinach Salad with Cranberries

The recipe was inspired by the Cranberry Orzo Salad that Princess Cruises serves in their International Cafe. It’s just so good! Tender pasta in a sweetly tangy dressing, with tart fresh cranberries and sliced almonds. Simple, fresh, and delicious.

I’ve included more cruise details at the bottom of the post here for anyone who is interested. As soon as I got home from our cruise through the British Isles, I immediately recreated the salad for my family.

As always, I loved the salad, but my guys? The kids decided that the fresh cranberries were too tart. (Crazy kids!)

So, the next time I made the salad, I went with dried cranberries and it was a win across the board. I like this salad every bit as much with dried cranberries as I do with fresh cranberries – and that’s an even bigger win, since fresh cranberries aren’t available more than a few weeks a year.

(And unless you’re lucky enough to have cranberries stashed in the freezer for this cake, you’ll be stuck waiting until the holidays to try this awesome salad.)

Spinach Orzo Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese - close up photo

Spinach Orzo Salad

I took our salad to the next level by adding a generous portion of fresh baby spinach and warm chicken. Both the chicken and the spinach made it a heartier meal for my family.

And as far as my guys are concerned, when I include meat that immediately elevates a pasta salad from side dish to main dish status.

For what it’s worth though, the chicken in this salad really is optional, the salad is delicious without it. I might even prefer it that way myself.

spinach salad with orzo, cranberries, and goat cheese

Spinach Orzo Salad Recipe

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this:

  • olive oil
  • orzo pasta
  • baby spinach
  • sliced almonds
  • dried cranberries
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • chicken, optional

Dressing Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • honey
  • salt and pepper

I’ve used both plain goat cheese and a honey goat cheese for this pasta and they’re both delicious.

However, I really loved the added flavor from the hint of honey in the specialty goat cheese. If you can find it at your store, give it a try!

Spinach Orzo Salad with almonds and cranberries

Orzo Spinach Salad

To make this salad, you’ll begin by toasting the orzo over medium heat, about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add 4 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and cover with a lid for 7-8 minutes. Drain any liquid, fluff with fork.

Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked orzo, cranberries, almonds, and cooked chicken – if desired.

In a small bowl or large measuring cup, combine the oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.

Top with goat cheese and toss lightly. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

orzo salad with spinach

Easy Salads with Spinach

Fresh sweet berries, crisp greens, crunchy pecans and a drizzle of creamy poppyseed dressing all add up to one of our favorite summer berry salads. While my boys haven’t always been the biggest salad fans, when this Berry Salad and Poppyseed Dressing are on the table they are very happy to eat their salads.

Crisp baby spinach, spring mix lettuces, tart apples, sweet raisins, crunchy almonds, and the ultimate honey cider salad dressing are combined to create a fantastic Spinach Apple Salad.

Strawberry Spinach Salad is the perfect salad for a summer night. Packed with fresh greens and sweet strawberries, this salad is finished with sliced almonds for just the right amount of crunch.

This Spinach Pasta Salad with Tomatoes is a tangy, garlicky, peppery pasta salad that I can’t seem to stop making and eating on repeat. The combination of crisp, fresh spinach with the chewy pasta and the tangy dressing is simply irresistible.

Get New Recipessent to your inbox!

We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Servings: 6

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Toast the orzo in ½ tablespoon oil over medium heat, about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add 4 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and cover with a lid for 7-8 minutes. Drain any liquid and fluff with a fork.

  • Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked orzo, cranberries, almonds, and cooked chicken – if desired.

  • In a small bowl or large measuring cup, combine the oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.

  • Top with goat cheese and toss lightly. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Kitchen tip: I’ve used both plain goat cheese and a honey goat cheese for this pasta and they’re both delicious. However, I really loved the added flavor from the hint of honey in the specialty goat cheese. If you can find it at your store, give it a try!

Calories: 415kcal · Carbohydrates: 43g · Protein: 16g · Fat: 20g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 40mg · Sodium: 476mg · Potassium: 360mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 12g · Vitamin A: 1980IU · Vitamin C: 5.6mg · Calcium: 70mg · Iron: 2mg

{originally published 4/19/19 – recipe notes and photos updated 8/2/23)

Spinach Orzo Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese

Several years ago, when Sean and I sailed with Princess Cruises through the British Isles, our friends we were traveling with kept talking about the cranberry pasta in the International Cafe. After hearing about it so much, the next time it was available, I had to try it.

It was so very good! Tender pasta in a sweetly tangy dressing, with tart fresh cranberries and sliced almonds. Simple, fresh. and delicious.

The International Cafe is part of the all-inclusive dining options onboard each cruise ship. The cafe is open 24 hours a day and it’s one of my favorite places to grab a bite to eat each time we cruise.

The morning selections include pastries and fresh croissants, breakfast sandwiches, quiche, fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, and more. Later in the day, you’ll find a selection of small-bite meals and other sweet and savory treats.

The selections change daily, so when you find your favorite food there, you’ll want to make the most of it.

Ask me how I know this? <cough> Nutella donuts <cough> I cruised 3x before I managed to snag a much-talked-about Nutella donut and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve learned now to check the selections daily.

Edited to add: I cruised the Caribbean with my sister Jenny a couple of years ago and as soon as we were on the ship for our last cruise (literally, as soon as we embarked), she and I stopped by the International Cafe and picked up some of the pasta salad, along with a sandwich, and a couple of coffees to take to our room and snack on as we were getting unpacked and settled.

I’m happy to tell you that Princess’s Cranberry Orzo Salad was every bit as delicious as I remembered. And fortunately, now we can all enjoy it at home too.

Want to check out more of our Medallion Class cruise through the Caribbean? This Jalapeno Honey Butter is inspired by Planks BBQ onboard the Caribbean Princess. And The Dirty Banana milkshake/cocktail is a favorite on every ship.

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Princess Cruises to share my travels with you. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information about Princess Cruises and/or to book a cruise visit their website.

Trending Products

0
Add to compare
Xbox Series X Replica Mini Fridge Thermoelectric Cooler, 10 Liters

Xbox Series X Replica Mini Fridge Thermoelectric Cooler, 10 Liters

$139.99
0
Add to compare
Zevro Compact Dry Food Dispenser, Dual Control, Black/Chrome

Zevro Compact Dry Food Dispenser, Dual Control, Black/Chrome

$31.99
.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

BestFindsMart
Logo
Register New Account
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0
Shopping cart